Two House committees today marked up revised versions of the Lower Prescription Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) — legislation that would make a series of changes to the Medicare program in an effort to lower the price of prescription drugs. The Education and Labor Committee approved its legislation by a 27 to 21 vote. As of AHA Today’s press time, the Energy and Commerce Committee was still marking up its version of the legislation.
 
As amended by both the committees, the legislation would increase the number of single source drugs that the Department of Health and Human Services would be required to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers from 25 to 35. The bill, which was introduced last month, would, among other provisions, apply new inflationary rebates to Medicare Part B and Part D drugs that have had price increases above the rate of inflation since 2016; cap the Medicare Part D annual out-of-pocket limit at $2,000 and convert the current coverage gap into a benefit-wide responsibility; and realign the Medicare Part D catastrophic phase cost-sharing responsibilities.
 
Meanwhile, the House Ways and Means Committee today held a hearing focused on lowering drug prices. The committee is expected to mark up H.R. 3 next week, and the full House of Representatives will likely consider the bill in the coming weeks.
 

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